Karen Ocamb

The Presidential Hug Shows a Huge Change in Culture

Filed By Karen Ocamb | November 11, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: new normal, Obama hugs Messina, Obama sheds tears, presidential hug


In 1968, I stood on the airport tarmac as my close friend bid farewell to his best friend who had been drafted and was bound for Vietnam. We were teenagers at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, steeped in sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. And yet - despite our songs of freedom and even as the spectre of death hung over the parting - the two pained young men chose manliness over emotion and shook hands goodbye.

That image washed over me as I saw this photo of President of the United States Barack Obama hugging his re-election Campaign Manager Jim Messina in an emotional embrace over their hard-won victory. What was decried as the "feminization of America" just a few years ago is now normal and, as with Obama openly shedding tears thanking campaign workers, is a welcome display of human authenticity to younger generations.

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